Daniel Ricciardo: I’m ready to join AlphaTauri under one condition

Daniel Ricciardo previously raced for the Red Bull sister team during 2012 and 2013.

Red Bull development driver Daniel Ricciardo has revealed that he would be open to returning to AlphaTauri, if it “creates a path” back to a seat at Red Bull.

Ricciardo returned to the Austrians this season in a behind-the-scenes role, following two disastrous seasons at McLaren.

The fan favourite is in the Red Bull garage this weekend at the British Grand Prix, as he’ll be driving the RB19 for the first-time at the Silverstone International Circuit next week in a Pirelli tyre test.

According to reports, Ricciardo has been performing very well in the simulator, something which has seen his name linked to Nyck de Vries’ AlphaTauri seat.

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Ricciardo previously raced for Red Bull’s sister team during 2012 and 2013, when the side was known as Toro Rosso.

Despite quite clearly not being a Red Bull junior driver anymore, the Australian would still be open to returning to race for the sister team, under the condition that it opens up a potential future back as a Red Bull racing driver.

“I’m remaining open-minded,” Ricciardo told Crash.net.

“If it’s like ‘this is you and you are signing a three-year deal and that’s the only place you are going to be’, then no, that’s maybe not the deal I would look for.

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“But if there’s the possibility to obviously be here [Red Bull]… The truth is this is where I want to be. I’m not going to weave my way around it.

“If that creates a path to get back here then yeah it’s something I would look at because ultimately this is the place where I want to get back to.”

Ricciardo is very keen to return to the grid for 2024, with him having very much rediscovered his love for the pinnacle of motorsport.

However, he would accept another year on the bench if no seats become available, something which could happen.

He’s using Haas driver Nico Hulkenberg as a reference somewhat, given that the German spent three seasons on the sidelines prior to his return to the grid this season.

“I’d love to get back on the grid next year,” admitted Ricciardo. 

“If things didn’t turn out the way I’d like and I’m on the sidelines again next year, it’s not my Plan A but I wouldn’t freak out. 

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“I look at [Nico] Hulkenberg, who’s been on the sidelines a few years – obviously done the odd race here and there – but he’s been pretty awesome this year. So I’m not concerned that I’ll ‘lose it’. 

“Obviously, I’m not getting younger though, so I don’t want to miss too much. Because I also don’t want to be [Fernando] Alonso and in my forties doing it. 

“But I look at him and I’m like ‘well if you are that good still, maybe I [would] still want to do it!’ But let’s see. If the team is like ‘well you can sit out next year and you have a seat for the year after’ I’d be like ‘alright sweet, of course I’ll sit out’. But I’d love to race.”